According to a report from the Star Tribune's Michael Russo, the Minnesota Wild have recalled young forward Joel Eriksson Ek.
The move is surprising because the Wild are giving up a full year of control on Eriksson Ek's contract to have him for the final seven regular season games and the playoffs.
Russo speculated on KFAN radio that this could be a panic move by the Wild because they are no longer certain to have home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. On Feb. 21, the Wild had a 17-point cushion to secure home ice and that lead is now down to six points over Nashville, whom the Wild play on the road Saturday.
Minnesota has lost 11 of 14 games so far in March.
The Hockey News recently rated Eriksson Ek as the 10th-best rising prospect in the NHL.
The scouts love Eriksson Ek, and with good reason. He’s a smart, skilled pivot who, interestingly enough, profiles as a Mikko Koivu type of player but with more offensive upside. Eriksson Ek had five points in nine games with Minny to start the year, but the Wild decided they’d rather see him play a ton back in Sweden than toil on their fourth line. He lit up the world juniors with six goals and nine points in seven games, too. He’ll be back in the NHL soon, likely next season, and he’ll contend for the Calder Trophy.
No word on when Eriksson Ek will suit up for the Wild, but it probably won't be Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals.